I notice that your playlist does not include Smile, which Good Vibrations was meant for, and which I find more complex, impressive, and interesting than Pet Sounds. I wouldn't call it cohesive though, it's pretty all over the place. Perhaps rock critics give Pet Sounds credit for what Smile could have been, had it been completed?
I'd be curious about Luke Muehlhauser's take on the questions you raise in the post, given his previous writing on similar subjects (e.g. on Scaruffi). Finally, you cite Cowen a few times in the Beethoven post: I think ... (read more)
I agree with this comment, especially this part:
A last warning - while being engaging and being true are not particularly correlated, I do worry that people are more likely to believe falsehoods when they are presented in an engaging way.
I want to spend a large fraction of my reading time asking "wait, is this true, actually?" Many ways of making posts more engaging make it harder for me to maintain this vigilance. This includes humor, even when it is devoid of sarcasm and mockery.
Jokes, flourishes, and especially emotions often make a post's case seem str... (read more)